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Hines Ward is Half-Korean born in Seoul

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mikey, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. mikey

    mikey Rookie

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    http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/sports/sports-korea-race-ward.html?pagewanted=print

    February 19, 2006
    Super Bowl Hero Raises Plight of Mixed - Race in S.Korea
    By REUTERS

    Filed at 8:34 p.m. ET

    SEOUL (Reuters) - Most South Koreans had never heard of Hines Ward before he won the Super Bowl's most valuable player award but the half-Korean's sudden fame has turned the spotlight on mixed-race children in his country of birth.

    Ward was born in Seoul to an African-American father who was a U.S. serviceman and a South Korean mother. After the Super Bowl he was called a great Korean athlete and became an instant sports hero in South Korea -- a country that usually pays little attention to American football.

    Ward left for the United States when he was little more than a year old and his mother Kim Young-hee raised him there. Kim, who spoke little English, worked a series of menial jobs to support her son, who once was embarrassed by his Korean mother but grew to love and respect her.

    But many prominent voices in South Korea have said it was for the best that he was raised abroad because a mixed-race child would have likely faced a lifetime of discrimination in South Korea.

    Due to a strict family registry system, a traditionally closed society and a history of leaders speaking of the pride of pure Korean blood, mixed race children often say they find themselves ostracized in South Korean society.

    ``Koreans are soaking in the success of Hines Ward and his mother. But there are doubts on whether he would have created the same story if the mother and son lived in Korea. The reality of mixed-races in Korea is anything but a success,'' the mainstream JoongAng Ilbo daily newspaper said earlier this month.

    ``We have emphasized the importance of being a racially homogeneous nation and the preference of pure blood for too long,'' the paper said in a front page analysis.

    According to social workers and groups such as Pearl S. Buck International, which helps mixed-race children in places such as South Korea, about 17.5 percent of mixed-race children in South Korea drop out of school during their middle-school years because of bullying and discrimination.

    That compares with only 1.1 percent of school drop outs for the entire population during their middle school years.

    Once they get older, mixed-race people in South Korea have trouble finding jobs and getting married, the groups say.

    MIXED RACES ON THE FARM

    Traditionally, mixed-race children have been born to U.S. servicemen and South Korean women. Those who stayed in the country were often raised by single mothers when the American father returned home. Their South Korean families often turned a cold shoulder to the mother and her mixed-race offspring.

    Kim In-soon, known by her professional name Insooni, is a popular singer in South Korea. Like Ward, she was born to a South Korean mother and African-American father who served in the military. He mother raised her alone in South Korea.

    She has featured prominently in South Korean media recently recounting how TV stations would not put her on the air early in her career for fear of upsetting viewers and how she donned a hat to cover her curly hair to blend in better.

    There are currently about 5,000 people of mixed Korean and American descent in South Korea and about 30,000 people of mixed Asian and Korean descent, according to estimates from the Pearl S. Buck group.

    The number of mixed Asian children is growing as more and more male South Korean farmers seek brides from overseas -- mainly from China and Vietnam -- because they cannot find South Korean women prepared to spend their lives in the countryside.

    ``There are those who point out that the mixed-race problem has been around since the (1950-1953) Korean War, but the government has failed to yet find any solutions for it,'' said Lee Ji-young of Pearl Buck International.

    CONSCRIPTS AND HOOP DREAMS

    Some changes are starting to take place.

    Earlier this month, the government said mixed-race young men could serve in the military.

    South Korea, which has compulsory military service, had a law that did not permit soldiers who ``clearly appear to be of a mixed racial background'' from serving because of the difficulty of fitting in.

    There are others who are encouraged by Hines' success.

    Basketball player Jang Yae-eun was born to a South Korean mother and an African-American father who was once stationed with the U.S. military in the country.

    Jang was raised alone by her mother in South Korea and said every time the pair walked together, they heard whispers and insults from Koreans they passed along the way.

    ``People were not kind to us. The two of us had to go through many hardships on our own,'' Jang, 20, said by telephone.

    Like Ward, Jang became a sports star. She plays in South Korea's professional basketball league.

    ``Hines Ward's success has given me a huge surge of hope,'' Jang said.

    Ward and his mother have said they will come to South Korea in April for what should be a high-profile visit. Already, the country's main airlines Korean Air and Asiana, are fighting to fly first class Ward and his mother, local media reported.

    Almost every newspaper in the country has shown a picture of a tattoo Ward has on his right arm of a cartoon character carrying a football. Ward's name is written in Korean above the character.

    .
  2. groundgame

    groundgame Rookie

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    Ward, along with Bettis, gets enormous repsect from fans and players in New England and across the country.
  3. flutie2phelan

    flutie2phelan Rookie

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    Mikey, the omnivorous reader!

    For a couple of years i've thought of Hines Ward as one of the best af all football players ... a top receiver. His facial appearance mildly intrigued me.

    But wtf? So THAT's the explanation!

    That our Korean admirers should place such an extravagant premium on racial purity is a parody by itself. Because Nippon ... another self-conscious paragon of divine descent bloodlines ... holds Koreans in contempt!
    Then there are the Chinese. The entire rest of the world are barbarians. (Which is what the Japanese thought of them.)

    We don't have it so bad ... friends of all blends ... as sometimes we may think. I just wish we could get get back to the melting pot ... that worked so well for all our forebears. Whoever is here and wants to be here ... is a bloody mongrel AMURRICAN.
  4. mikey

    mikey Rookie

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    Thanks.

    I am not only an omnivorous reader, I am also a carnivorous eater. :D


    .
  5. Bertil

    Bertil Rookie

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    There was an "In Their Own Words" special on Hines and his Mom on the NFL Network right before SB XL. It opened my eyes as to what kind of person he is and what kind of work ethic he has. I was really rooting for him in the SB. If the Pats couldn't win, I was happy that a guy like that could...
  6. ilduce06410

    ilduce06410 Rookie

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    some of the race-based and ethnic-oriented hatreds in the far east are 5,000 years old. the "thing" between celtics and anglo-saxons has a few thousand years of buildup too. as i understand it one of the tenets of the nipponese-ness is belief in racial superiorty, emanating form the godly status of the emperor.
    so there has been domination and brutal rule over korean, chinese, indochinese, burmese, and the native people of the upper asian coast for well beyond any western record-keeping.the nipponese in asia are like the british in europe.
    any chance they get, the peoples of the european and asian continents will start hacking each other up again.
  7. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    I've known this for about 4 years.

    Tiger woods is half Thia. To which I say to all of that, so what! What does it matter?
  8. T-ShirtDynasty

    T-ShirtDynasty Moderator

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    In a related story... and I'm not sure you all are aware of this... but it appears that Jerome Bettis is actually from Detroit.
  9. flutie2phelan

    flutie2phelan Rookie

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    Perhaps this thread should be allowed to go off life support. But, given that we are doing some small soul-searching both here and in the Bryant Gumbel thread nearby ... you might be interested in the observations of a 25-year-old friend of mine, licensed commercial pilot, who is starting up a business in China these days. This just in ... and only the name of his friend has been changed.

    It's true. The homogeneity in China is deeper than mere biology. See Star Trek's The Borg for a visual example. All Chinese are Chinese and NOT, they make very clear, whatever YOU are. All this without even a hint of xenophobia. They are comfortable with their 1.3 billion brethren. There needn't be any energy wasted there on cultural identity crises or "proving" themselves to you. It shows in their reaction to this summer's show of Bush, Greenspan, Snow, and a few other IMF'ers traveling to Beijing and demanding a change in the exchange rate. "Maybe" they said. "Maybe, step by step. Thank you for coming."

    Han Lien is as open minded, intelligent, and educated as they come, and he didn't even believe the pictures of white people in the high-school text books were real. He told me he and his friends thought they were jokes.
  10. Brady#12

    Brady#12 Rookie

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    :rofl: :wha: you learn somthing new everyday :rolleyes:
  11. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    re:

    ???? Forgive me, but I found this sentence idiotic.

    The time I checked, Europeans/Caucasians are the same way, if not worse. Have you ever read historical articles that tried to use science to claim that the white race was superior? How about English, Scottish, and Irish wars throughout history, even though the populations were genetically the same? What about WWI and WWII (Bismark, Hitler, ethnic cleansing)? Or wars between Romans and Greeks? What about Jews, who believe they are the chosen people on Earth?

    The point is, all strong cultures make people who feel proud of who they are. I've found Asians to feel strongly towards their people, but they are not xenophobic. For example, I think Asians are more open to marrying other races than most ethnic groups.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2006
  12. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    The whole conversation on this topic is idiotic, IMO. The only post that made any sense talking about was Bettis being from Detriot and that was a joke.

    Who cares if Hines ward is half Korean or Tedy Bru is half Italian? Really, who goes around noticing those things?

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